Liverpool’s scouting network is regarded as one of the best on the planet, but it is curious that certain regions of the world almost seem to be off-limits for the Reds. In fact, over a decade has passed since the Anfield club signed a player directly from South America, which is quite astounding.
In the summer of 2012, Liverpool sanctioned the arrival of Sebastián Coates, who joined from Uruguayan side Nacional. The imposing center-back struggled to make an impact in England and, after making just six starts in the Premier League, he was sold to Sunderland before later joining Sporting Lisbon.
Before Coates, Rafael Benítez invested in a certain Lucas Leiva in 2007. The Brazilian was far more successful in Europe and amassed a total of 246 appearances in England’s top flight but overall, Liverpool has generally avoided signing players directly from South America.
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Such a scouting approach is curious considering the players that tend to emanate from that continent. Over the years, a whole host of stars have represented the Reds, but they have only been signed after demonstrating some degree of success in Europe representing other clubs.
The list is almost endless, and it includes the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker, Fabinho, Alexis Mac Allister, Javier Mascherano and Luis Suárez. All of those players met the required standard once they moved to Anfield, but Liverpool refrained from poaching them from the source.
That scouting oversight could be about to change, with the Reds holding an interest in a player by the name of André Trindade, who is currently representing Fluminense in his homeland. The Brazilian midfielder looks like a real gem, and it is worth noting that he’s still just 22 years old.
Liverpool’s interest in him is common knowledge. In fact, it was publicly divulged by Mario Bittencourt, Fluminense president, just a few months ago.
“Liverpool’s chief executive [Billy Hogan] contacted me directly,” he told ESPN Brasil. “I replied to him: My friend, I don’t sell players now and I don’t deliver them now. If you want to buy now, and only get the player in January, we can start talking. Or if you want to wait until December, we can talk in December.”
André could be sporting the famous red jersey once the winter transfer window opens in January. It remains to be seen whether Liverpool will move for his signature, but this weekend, Klopp will benefit from the ultimate scouting opportunity as Fluminense competes in a high-profile final.
The Brazilian outfit will come up against Boca Juniors in a clash to decide the winner of the Copa Libertadores for 2023, which is essentially the South American version of the Champions League. Fluminense has never won the competition before, with André potentially set to make history.
A whole host of talents will feature in the bout, including 18-year-old Valentín Barco and 21-year-old Ezequiél Fernández, who was linked with a move to Merseyside recently (via Gazzetta dello Sport). The Hollywood clash, which is set to take place at the famous Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, will certainly be of interest to Klopp and his scouting department.
If André passes his audition by grabbing the spotlight and delivering the silverware for his team, he will surely go down in history for Fluminense, and he will be free to embrace a fresh challenge in England as Liverpool weighs up a winter move for his signature.